What Can Product Managers Learn From Dating Apps?
Although I cannot speak for others, I can say that I have been the product manager for many very boring applications over the course of my career. This is business-to-business stuff. As I was working on my product development definition, I imagined being responsible for a product with millions of users that were also associated with something more exciting. This dream is now a reality for many product managers: they are responsible dating apps. It is becoming increasingly difficult to make your app successful in this market.
The Dating App Market Is Very, Very Big
The good news is that the market is enormous for dating programs. This year, dating websites will bring in US$12.7B, and dating programs will bring in US$628.8M. This will give you something to add to the product manager’s resume. This would be fantastic news except for the fact that Apple’s iTunes store currently contains over 500 dating apps.
Product managers of dating programs are facing two severe and actual problems. Their customers are fickle. This is the first problem. This means that customers often have multiple dating software subscriptions and don’t feel obligated to use one. If a dating app is successful and matches a customer with the right person, they stop dating. They no longer require the app, and they just go away.
These dating software companies are not all that big. To make things more difficult for product managers, many of these companies are constantly on the lookout to purchase or merge with other companies. Interactive Corp is the undisputed leader in this market. You probably know a few of their dating apps: OkCupid.com and Match.com. They are estimated to own around 22% of this market.
It is difficult to stand out in the dating app market.
A product manager must take steps to make their dating app stand out if they want it to succeed. Different product managers have different ways of making their products successful. Others adopt a mass-market approach, where they aim to appeal to all who are dating. This is how dating apps like Match.com or eHarmony work. Others are also trying to capture niches on the market. Grinder and Her are meant for lesbians and gays. Ashley Madison is for those who want an affair. GlutenFree Singles speaks for itself.
Advertising is the most prominent expense product managers have to manage. Each website is free to access. Two ways are common for apps to generate revenue. First, they display ads to site visitors. The second is to offer paid features for existing customers. These features help customers find the right person faster.
Dating apps are now using a new strategy to convince their users to only use them. This works by asking users to agree to delete other dating apps accounts. The site’s algorithmic recommendation engine will give them a boost, and they will have first access to new members’ profiles. We will just have to wait and see how this new approach works out.
What Does All This Mean for You?
A product manager responsible for dating apps would be a rewarding job. The market is competitive, and users can be fickle. This will not be an easy task!
There are over 500 dating apps on the market, all competing for people who are interested in dating. Customers may use several dating apps at once, so product managers must deal with this challenge. Customers will leave an app if they find a partner in love through a dating app. It is difficult to make your dating app stand out. Advertising is your most significant expense. It is possible to convince your customers to use your dating app only.
One of the best things about being a product manager for a dating app is that you will have access to an almost unlimited market. There will always be more people looking to date. This app is no longer stigmatized, and people are now using it more often. If you play your cards right, you might find that you can manage a dating app that everyone enjoys!